Amwell Online Therapy Review

Accessible mental health counseling, couples therapy, and medication management

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4.4

Amwell Online Therapy

Amwell Review logo

Amwell

Amwell is one of the leading telehealth companies in the U.S., with services for both general and mental health. It offers online therapy for individuals, teens, and couples, as well as online psychiatry and medication management, and it accepts health insurance. Amwell is a great option for couples and new parents, though we would also recommend it for individuals dealing with stress, mild depression, or anxiety.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No subscription required

  • Accepts a number of health insurance plans

  • Offers individual, couples, family, and adolescent therapy

  • Couples therapy is the same price as individual sessions  

  • Medication management services available

  • Allows you to choose your therapist

  • Easy to switch therapists

Cons
  • Therapy session automatically ends at the 45-minute mark via the system

  • Doesn’t specify which therapists offer couples or family therapy sessions

  • Requires sign-up to view treating therapists and available appointment times

  • Not all insurance companies are accepted

  • If not covered by insurance, you will pay out of pocket

  • No sliding scale for non-insured patients

4.4

Amwell Online Therapy

Amwell Review logo

Amwell

Online therapy has become increasingly popular over the last few years. During the pandemic, it was essential because it was the only way you could actually receive therapy. And now, it appears that teletherapy is here to stay. Compared to traditional therapy, online therapy is often more convenient, more comfortable, and more affordable. Plus, it’s been shown to be just as effective.

Amwell is one of many online therapy companies offering virtual mental health services today. To fully evaluate Amwell’s online therapy, we surveyed 105 current clients and spoke to subject matter experts. In addition, I signed up for a couples therapy session with Amwell (and some of our team members tested other services) in order to test the user experience. Here’s how the company fared. 

What Is Amwell?

Amwell is a telehealth company based in Boston. It was founded in 2006 by two brothers, Ido and Roy Schoenberg. Both are medical doctors and Roy also has a master’s degree in public health.

A primary leader in telemedicine, Amwell is one of the largest telehealth care companies in the world. Currently the team consists of between 800 and 1,000 employees and a 12-person leadership team. There is also a nine-person board of directors, although its lack of diversity is worth noting. The entire leadership team is white and the board of directors is also predominantly white.

Amwell’s mission is simple: to provide people with greater access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. With Amwell, you can connect with doctors, therapists, and psychologists quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home.

What Services Does Amwell Offer?

Amwell offers a variety of telehealth services, including urgent care visits, women’s healthcare, pediatrics, and second opinions. And it offers mental health services, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Family therapy (for groups of up to four people)
  • Adolescent therapy (children aged 10 to 17)
  • Menopause counseling 
  • Pregnancy and postpartum therapy 
  • Psychiatry and medication management

Therapy sessions on Amwell last 45 minutes and are conducted via live video. Therapists do not prescribe medication, although psychiatrists can write prescriptions for non-controlled substances. Controlled substances, such as benzodiazepines or amphetamines, cannot be prescribed by any telehealth provider.

Who Is Amwell For? 

Amwell is for individual adults, couples, and children and teens aged 10 to 17, as long as they have parental consent. You or your child could benefit from its mental health services if you are experiencing:

  • Anxiety 
  • Grief/bereavement 
  • Disordered eating 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Depression 
  • OCD 
  • PTSD or trauma 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Social anxiety 
  • Life transitions 
  • LGBTQIA+-related issues
  • Stress 

Couples therapy is available for adults in an intimate partnership, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. The only requirement is that both partners are over the age of 18. These couples sessions can address a range of relationship issues, including:

  • Communication challenges
  • Conflict resolution
  • Infertility
  • Infidelity
  • Parenting problems
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Financial difficulties
  • Addiction and gambling
  • Domestic abuse issues

While couples therapy can help address past domestic violence or abuse, it isn’t appropriate when the abuse is still happening. If you’re in danger currently, it’s best to call 911.

How Much Does Amwell Cost?

Amwell charges for therapy and psychiatry per session; it is not a subscription service. How much you pay per session will also depend on the experience level of your therapist:

  • $109 for a therapist with a master’s degree
  • $129 for a therapist with a doctoral degree

There is no difference in cost or duration for the type of therapy session you choose. An individual therapy session will cost the same as couples or family therapy. All therapy sessions are 45 minutes long regardless of the number of participants.

If you sign up for online psychiatry at Amwell, the initial visit costs $279 for a 45-minute consultation. Then, your follow-up visits will be $109 and typically last 15 minutes.

When you book an appointment, you will provide your credit card information. You will then be charged at the end of the session.

In our survey, 27% of clients reported that this ability to pay per session was an important factor for them when choosing a therapist. Overall, cost was an important consideration, and 66% of clients said that Amwell was either very affordable or affordable. This is likely because compared to traditional in-person therapy, Amwell is a more affordable option. In 2022, the average cost of therapy nationwide was $182, with seven states having an average cost of $200 or more.

However, compared to the other 54 companies we reviewed, Amwell is on the higher end. You can find more affordable out-of-pocket options if you opt for a subscription plan, such as those offered by BetterHelp or Talkspace.

The price point may make Amwell too expensive for some Americans. Based on data collected by the United States Census Bureau, the median household income for 2021 was $70,784. The median income for family households (two or more people living together) was $91,162, whereas the median income of non-family households was $41,797. Compare that to the average cost of living. The average living expenses for family households equaled 76,873 per year in 2019. For non-family households, it was $38,266.

That means that the average married or cohabiting couple would have $1,190 of spending money each month, whereas someone living alone would have an average of $294 a month to spend. Couples who are living together, then, would have the means to pay for therapy but, for a person living alone, one therapy session would cost more than 35% of their monthly spending money. This may be too expensive for some people. 

Does Amwell Take Insurance?

Amwell does accept insurance for therapy services, although coverage depends on individual plans.

Still, the website boasts a partnership with over 50 different health plans, including Anthem, UnitedHealthcare, and Aetna. However, several top insurance providers are not accepted, such as Cigna, Kaiser, and Centene.

When surveyed, 91% of Amwell clients reported having some form of health insurance. Of those users, 61% had health insurance plans that covered all or some of their treatment. Amwell therapy, then, appears more likely to be covered by insurance than some of its competitors, such as Cerebral or BetterHelp.

Does Amwell Offer Discounts?

Sometimes. The most recent discount Amwell offered was through its “Mind Your Mind” mental health initiative. In this campaign, Amwell partnered with actress and singer Ashley Tisdale and several social media influencers to offer users a first-time visit for $10. The promotion ran from December 2021 to February 2022. 

Since then, there have not been any additional promotional sales or discount codes.

Navigating the Amwell Website and App

Amwell’s website is fast and generally easy to navigate, although there are some things about it that I really disliked.

For one thing, the homepage is a business landing page that’s focused on awards and company highlights rather than patient care. Almost immediately, there is a pop-up social box asking what brought you to the site. Some users might like this feature, but I found it annoying and when I answered the prompts, it wasn’t particularly helpful.

 

From the homepage, you’ll need to click on the top right button labeled "For Patients," which will open a new tab. When you scroll down on that page, you’ll see several of the services offered, patient and provider testimonials, and an accepted insurance section.

The patient landing page shows four services: Urgent care, online therapy, online psychiatry, and online specialists. There is a "Continue" button and an estimated cost for each service. If you click "Continue," though, you are prompted to enter your insurance information.

If you want to learn about any of the services, it’s better to navigate the site using the drop-down menus at the top of the page. When you click on one of the services that way, you’re taken to a page that provides more information about that service.

There, you can learn more about the service, including commonly treated issues and answers to frequently asked questions. If you click on any of the commonly treated issues, you’ll be taken to a page that tells you more about that specific issue.

On the online therapy page, couples therapy was listed as an option, but family therapy wasn’t. When I called, though, I was informed that family therapy was an option for up to four people.

Does Amwell Have an App? 

Amwell has a free app available for both iOS and Android. Through the app, you can schedule appointments, check your patient portal inbox, or even hold your therapy sessions.

The Amwell app is highly rated amongst users. It has 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play and 4.9 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store.

How Do You Sign Up for Therapy at Amwell?

Amwell makes signing up for therapy easy. There is a green "Continue" button at the top of the patient homepage. When you click on it, you will be prompted to select your health insurance from a drop-down list of providers.

I selected "Insurance Not Listed" and was taken to a "Find Care Near You" page, which listed alternative options for affordable healthcare. After choosing Amwell, I was directed to the sign-up page.

On the sign-up page, you will enter your information (first name, last name, email address), create an account password, and agree to the terms and conditions. Then, you will be prompted to complete your profile by entering your current location (state), date of birth, and gender. It’s worth noting here that there are only two options to choose from regarding gender, so nonbinary individuals would need to select one or the other.

Once you complete your profile, you will be prompted to enter your health insurance information (provider and subscriber number). And that’s it! You’re officially signed up with Amwell.

After signing up, you will be directed to a private user portal where you can get started by simply choosing which healthcare service you’re interested in.

I selected the "Behavioral Health" option and was taken to a page listing the various services available. Again, I think it’s worth mentioning that couples therapy isn’t listed separately. So, instead, I chose "Therapy" and was taken to the "Schedule Appointment" page.

The sign-up process was quick and easy. All in all, it took less than 10 minutes. Other Amwell users agreed and, in our survey, 79% of participants said signing up was either very easy or easy.

Choosing a Therapist at Amwell

After selecting the service you’re interested in, you will be able to schedule an appointment. You can either schedule by date or by provider.

If you choose to schedule by provider, you can further filter by either gender or specialty, although I was disappointed to learn that specialty meant either therapist or psychologist. In order to learn more about the actual provider and what types of issues they work with, you have to review their bio. I will also point out that this is the first time you’re able to view the therapy providers at Amwell. I would have liked the opportunity to see potential therapists before signing up.

On the plus side, Amwell appears to have a diverse pool of well-qualified therapists; 87% of clients surveyed rated the diversity as being good, very good, or excellent. And 91% of clients rated the providers' qualifications positively.

All of the providers at Amwell are either licensed psychologists with a doctoral degree or licensed therapists with a master’s in counseling or social work. Along with being licensed to practice in their state, they are all trained in telehealth therapy techniques.

In my area, there were 15 therapy providers available. Of those, two were psychologists (doctoral level practitioners) and the other 13 were therapists. In terms of diversity, six were BIPOC and nine were female. Only one provider treated children and teens 10 and up, which was displayed on her photo. That was the only information I could glean at a glance, so to see their experience and specific areas of treatment, I had to click on each individual profile.

The therapist profiles were well-organized and included visit cost before insurance, education, years of experience, professional affiliations, areas of interest, and a brief summary from the therapist. In their profiles, six of the providers mentioned treating LGBTQIA+ issues and seven mentioned couples and family therapy. Still, it wasn’t entirely clear if the other providers were only available for individual sessions. The selection process would have been easier if those factors were highlighted somehow.

There was also a "send message" link on each of the therapist profiles. However, I learned that you can only message a provider if you’ve scheduled an appointment with them. When I tried to message beforehand, a notice popped up saying that I did not have permission. It bothered me that I wasn’t able to find out more information about a therapist prior to actually choosing them.  

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at Amwell?

Once you schedule an appointment, you will receive a confirmation email with the visit information as well as a virtual link. You are instructed to click the "Get Started" link 10 to 15 minutes prior to your appointment.

After choosing a therapist and scheduling an appointment with her, I followed the link as instructed and was taken to my patient portal and a “Test your computer” screen, which checked my camera, microphone, speaker, and internet connection. When the computer test was complete, I was taken to a virtual waiting room. There, I was greeted with an online messaging board and prompted to answer the initial screening questions.

These were standard mental health assessment questions which asked “Over the last two-weeks, how often have you been bothered by…” various problems such as: feeling down or depressed, poor appetite or overeating, trouble concentrating, and feeling tired or having little energy. To answer, I would select one of the options which ranged from “Not at all” to “Nearly every day.”

The entire pre-visit process was quick and took less than five minutes. Once I finished with that, I waited for the therapist to join. 

On the screen, there was a notice saying that the average wait time was less than 10 minutes as well as an option to be notified by text once the therapist was ready to begin. I opted for the text notification and immediately got a text message of confirmation.

I waited for close to thirty minutes and then received a text and email saying that the therapist had to cancel the session. There was no reason provided and no option to reschedule. She also did not message me directly to explain the situation any further. This was extremely frustrating to me and left me feeling like my time wasn’t respected. I ended up scheduling a new appointment with a different provider, but it was a bad first impression. 

Luckily, the second experience was much better. After I completed the computer test and initial questionnaire, I again chose to be notified by text when the therapist was ready. This time, I didn’t have to wait longer than a minute; he actually started the session a few minutes before the scheduled time.

Couples Therapy Sessions 

While family and couples therapy is available with Amwell, there isn’t a separate section for those services in the patient portal, which makes it confusing at first. To sign up for a couples session, then, I had to go to the general therapy section and look through each of the therapists’ profiles to find whether or not they worked with couples.

My initial impression was poor as the first therapist I scheduled with canceled our appointment after I had been in the virtual waiting room for 30 minutes. The second therapist I found, however, was wonderful to work with.

As soon as I booked an appointment, I sent him a message to let him know it was a couples therapy session. I also asked if there was anything I should know or prepare for ahead of time. He responded very quickly and gave me a lot of good information about what he focuses on in therapy and what the first session would entail. He noted that Amwell has had a few issues in the past when two people call in from different locations, so he advised us to be together during our session. Despite the apparent technical difficulties, I think it’s great that counseling is an option for long-distance couples.

During our actual session, the therapist was ready and available to start as soon as I completed the initial questionnaire, so it was nice that we didn’t have to wait around at all. When we started, he introduced himself and gave a quick overview of his background and experience. He then asked about our relationship and had each of us say what we liked about each other.

Throughout the session, he was really adept at making sure we both had a chance to talk and that we both felt heard. He was also great at providing insight and practical solutions for various issues. He also offered personal examples to help illustrate his talking points. Personally, I thought it was too much, but my partner actually found it really motivating and beneficial.

At the end of our session, he told us that the system would automatically kick us out at the 45-minute mark. In the past, I’ve had in-person therapy and there were sessions that would run over time, so I think this feature makes teletherapy a little less ideal. But I liked that our therapist gave us adequate warning so we wouldn’t be cut off abruptly.

Medication Management/Psychiatry 

Amwell also offers online psychiatry and medication management. When choosing the behavioral health service you want from the patient portal, select "Psychiatry" and you will be taken to schedule an appointment. From there, you can choose to schedule by date or by provider. The website states that psychiatry appointments are typically available in 14 days or less, but when I looked in my area, there was next-day availability.

Psychiatry on Amwell is provided by licensed physicians certified in psychology and neurology. As practicing doctors, Amwell psychiatrists can prescribe most medications with the exception of controlled substances, including benzodiazepines (such as Valium and Xanax). However, psychiatrists may be able to coordinate with a primary care physician for patients who require prescriptions for controlled substances.   

Ninety-one percent of Amwell clients using psychiatry or medication management rated their service as being good, very good, or excellent. Further, 42% rated them as excellent and 36% as very good. As for whether or not they would recommend Amwell’s psychiatry services, 81% said they would.

Can You Message Your Therapist?

Yes. While therapy sessions at Amwell are conducted exclusively over live video, you can still send your therapist a message outside of the session. However, as I mentioned earlier, you can only contact a provider you’ve scheduled an appointment with.

But once you do have an appointment (either upcoming or previous), sending a message is easy. On your patient portal, you’ll find all your therapists under the "My Providers" tab with an option to message them.

I will note that when the first therapist I scheduled with canceled on me, she never reached out to explain or reschedule. So, when I signed up for a session with the second therapist, I decided to message him ahead of time with a few basic questions. He replied very quickly and with a lot of great information, which I was pleased to see.

What Happens If I Miss a Session at Amwell?

Amwell has a cancellation fee of $40 for missed appointments unless you give 24 hours’ notice. If you cancel or reschedule more than 24 hours ahead of time, you will not be charged.

Switching Therapists at Amwell

Since Amwell therapy is pay-per-session, it’s incredibly easy to switch therapists.

After the first therapist I chose canceled the appointment unexpectedly, I simply scheduled a new appointment with a different provider. At the end of our session, he didn’t ask me if I wanted to schedule the next appointment right away. Personally, I liked that because there was no pressure to either schedule immediately or decline.

Most of the clients we surveyed, though, didn’t need to switch therapists; 64% of users never switched while 16% of users reported switching once.

Pausing or Canceling Therapy at Amwell

The pay-per-session setup makes it really easy to cancel therapy with Amwell. There is no formal process to cancel or pause, which makes it really convenient for users to stop or start therapy at their discretion. 

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

Aside from the first therapist who canceled without explanation, my overall experience using Amwell was a good one. Other Amwell users agreed, with 88% giving a positive rating.

Signing up was quick and easy and my therapist was well-qualified, compassionate, and professional. He was open and encouraging while also focusing on offering helpful solutions and ways to improve communication. Eighty-six percent of Amwell clients felt their therapist met all or most of their needs and 70% would choose Amwell for therapy again in the future.

Still, while I think Amwell is a great option for online therapy, I personally prefer a more traditional therapy setting. 

Fifteen percent of Amwell users who discontinued therapy did so because they wanted an in-person therapist. According to Hannah Owens, LMSW, “in-person therapy allows for a level of connection between the client and therapist that is not possible online.”

There is definitely some truth to that sentiment, although online therapy is extremely beneficial for some: People who are immunocompromised, unable to travel, or in rural areas with limited options, for example. For Amwell users who previously received traditional therapy, 22% switched because they didn’t want to commute to in-person appointments, 21% switched during pandemic lockdowns, and 19% switched due to lower cost of online therapy.

Privacy Policies at Amwell

Amwell is compliant with HIPAA, the federal law which ensures all sensitive health and medical patient information is protected. Further, therapy sessions are not recorded or saved in any way, which I found reassuring.

In addition, the privacy policy explicitly states that only adults over the age of 18 can create an account. Children or teens receiving therapy would therefore need to have a parent or guardian create the account and manage it for them.

The privacy policy on the Amwell website notes that information collected may be shared with certain authorized third parties for research, legal, or marketing purposes. You can email a request to have your information deleted. Looking at the terms and policies, it seems pretty standard and in line with other telehealth companies.   

Amwell vs. Its Competitors

Telehealth has become increasingly popular, and there are a number of online therapy platforms to choose from.

Unlike several of its competitors, such as BetterHelp and Talkspace, Amwell does not offer any subscription plans or bundles. Instead, therapy sessions are purchased a la carte. Some users might find this a deterrent, although it makes it easier to cancel or pause your therapy.

According to our survey, Amwell rates well among users. A total of 88% of clients gave it a positive rating, which is slightly higher than the average rating of 84% across all 55 companies we looked at. Positive ratings were 79% for Cerebral, 71% for Array Behavioral Health, and 66% for Sanvello. However, several companies were rated more favorably, including Teladoc at 97% and Doctor on Demand at 94%.

Compared to other teletherapy providers, Amwell is one of the pricier options, but 66% of Amwell clients found their therapy affordable or very affordable compared to 58% of clients at both TalkSpace and BetterHelp. In addition, Amwell accepts insurance and offers couples therapy for the same price. TalkSpace, on the other hand, charges more for couples therapy.

For clients who had used other therapy services in the past, 74% said Amwell was either much better or better compared to 47% of Brightside users, 59% of Cerebral users, and 88% of TalkSpace users.

Final Verdict

Amwell is a one-stop shop for virtual physical and mental health. It has a wide range of therapy services available for individuals, couples, teens, and families, and offers psychiatry and medication management. Therapy prices are pay-per-session and slightly higher compared to other teletherapy providers, although insurance is accepted.

Amwell is also more affordable than traditional in-person therapy, especially when considering the fact that couples therapy is the same price as individual therapy. Therapy sessions are 45 minutes long and many providers have night and weekend availability. Signing up is quick and easy and users choose their own therapist from a pool of qualified providers in their area.

The biggest issue appears to be the website, which makes it more complicated than necessary to schedule a family or couples therapy session. Regardless, I would recommend Amwell for anyone who wants to improve their relationship with online therapy.

Methodology

To fairly and accurately review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users of each. This allowed us to directly compare services offered by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about each company and its users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on the following factors: website usability, the sign-up and therapist matching processes, therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, the service's quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, average cost and value for money, whether it accepts insurance, how easy it is to change therapists, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood that clients would recommend them.

We also signed up for the companies in order to get a sense of how this process worked, how easy to use the platform is, and how therapy takes place at the company.

Then, we contacted customer service to ask additional questions about therapy services provided and worked with three subject matter experts to get their expert analysis on how suited this company is to provide quality care to therapy seekers. 

Specs

  • Product Name Amwell Online Therapy
  • Price $109-$279 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted? Yes
  • Types of Therapy Offered Individual, Couples, Family, Adolescent (aged 10-17), Psychiatry, Menopause Counseling, Pregnancy and Postpartum Therapy
  • Communication Options Live Video
  • HIPAA Compliant Yes
  • Is There an App? Yes
  • Accepts HSA or FSA? Yes
  • Prescriptions Available? Yes with the exception of controlled substances
  • Billing Cadence Pay per session
4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Andrews G, Basu A, Cuijpers P, et al. Computer therapy for the anxiety and depression disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: An updated meta-analysisJ Anxiety Disord. 2018;55:70-78. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2018.01.001

  2. Zencare. The cost of therapy in 2022.

  3. U.S. Census Bureau. Income in the United States: 2021.

  4. Nerdwallet. Average monthly expenses: From single person to family of 5.

By Katie Mannion
Katie Mannion is an Occupational Therapy Assistant and freelance writer. As both a COTA and a writer, she is passionate about helping people improve their health, happiness, and activities of daily living. She has a background in Psychology and frequently writes about mental health, wellness, relationships, and entertainment.

Edited by April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Verywell Mind, Verywell Family, Verywell, Fit, Verywell Health, Time, Parents, Parents Magazine, The Straits Times, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

Learn about our editorial process